- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Air Force has actually outgained Notre Dame over their past three matchups, but the Irish have won two of those three contests. Can the Falcons get the better of the Irish on Oct. 26 in Colorado Springs, Colo.?
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Offense: Ty MacArthur, WR. The Falcons have a quarterback battle this spring, but whoever emerges as the leader will have the benefit of throwing to MacArthur, the team's leading receiver last season. MacArthur hauled in 24 passes for 411 yards and two touchdowns in 2012, and he added 467 yards and two more scores on 57 carries. He caught a six-yard touchdown pass in Air Force's 59-33 loss at Notre Dame in 2011.
Defense: Christian Spears, FS. Air Force struggled defensively last year, finishing 72nd nationally in total D and 71st in scoring defense. Spears is the team's leading returning tackler this season, as he notched 91 total takedowns in 2012, including 2.5 for loss. He added a pick, two pass break-ups and two forced fumbles for the 6-7 Falcons, who return seven safeties and should have a far better passing defense than last year's, which ranked 105th nationally in pass efficiency D.